Are you tired of bending and peering into the dark depths of your kitchen cabinets, struggling to find that elusive baking sheet or pasta pot? There’s a smarter, more efficient solution – converting kitchen cabinets into drawers. 

This popular trend has taken the world of interior design by storm, transforming cluttered kitchen spaces into paragons of organization and accessibility. The 7 steps process is going to be a clear and easy guide to get the job done, from the initial undertakings to the finishing touches. 

And so, we will unravel the mystery of how to convert kitchen cabinets to drawers in-depth, so let’s dive in!

Considerations Before Starting the Conversion

Before you dive into the project of fixing the kitchen cabinets and then turning them into drawers, it’s crucial to plan thoroughly and consider the following factors:

  • Budget: Your budget will significantly influence your conversion project. Consider the costs for materials, tools, and potential professional assistance.
  • Materials: The choice of materials will impact both the durability and the aesthetic appeal of your drawers. Popular choices include plywood, particle board, and hardwood.
  • Cabinet Dimensions: The size and layout of your existing cabinets will dictate the size of your drawers. Accurate measurements are crucial to ensure a seamless fit.
  • Kitchen Layout: The overall layout and space available in your kitchen will affect how you can convert your cabinets into drawers

To help you visualize the average costs and considerations, we’ve prepared a table with some typical statistics:

BudgetThe average cost for a DIY cabinet-to-drawer conversion ranges from $100 to $300 per cabinet, depending on the materials used and whether any specialized tools are required.
MaterialsHardwood is more expensive but offers better durability and aesthetic appeal. Plywood and particle board are cheaper alternatives but might not last as long.
Cabinet DimensionsStandard kitchen cabinet dimensions are 12-24 inches deep, 12-48 inches wide, and 12-96 inches tall. Drawers are typically designed to fit within these parameters.
Kitchen LayoutThe layout of the kitchen can restrict drawer size and placement, particularly in smaller or irregularly shaped kitchens.

How to Convert Kitchen Cabinets to Drawers in 7 Steps

Ready to transform your kitchen and make the most out of your storage space? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to convert kitchen cabinets to drawers:

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • Measuring tape
  • Plywood or your chosen material
  • Drawer slides
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper
  • Finish (paint or stain)

Step-by-Step Process:

  • Step 1 – Measure Your Cabinet: Start by assessing the internal dimensions of your base cabinet shelves, including the width, depth, and height. These measurements are essential for understanding what size drawers can be accommodated when you’re looking to convert your base cabinet shelves into drawers.
  • Step 2 – Plan Your Drawers: Determine how many drawers you want and the height of each. Remember, the total height of the drawers should be less than the interior height of the cabinet to allow for drawer slides and space between drawers.
  • Step 3 – Cut the Drawer Pieces: Using your saw, cut out the pieces for the drawer inside the cabinet door (front, back, sides, and bottom) from your chosen material.
  • Step 4 – Assemble Your Drawers: Using screws and a screwdriver, assemble the drawer boxes. Ensure they are square and sturdy. Smooth the edges with sandpaper and apply your chosen finish.
  • Step 5 – Install the Drawer Slides: Attach the drawer slides to the sides of your cabinet and to the sides of your drawers, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After you’ve secured the drawer slides, it’s now time to attach the drawers. This is a significant step when replacing existing lower cabinets and bottom drawer with more functional drawers.
  • Step 6 – Fit Your Drawers: Insert each drawer into the cabinet using extension drawer glides. Ensure a smooth opening and closing mechanism and make necessary adjustments to the glides as required.
  • Step 7 – Attach the Drawer Fronts: To ensure your new drawers harmonize with your kitchen’s style, utilize the cabinet doors as drawer fronts. Trim the doors appropriately, smooth the edges, and with the help of rear mounting brackets, secure them to the drawer fronts for a seamless fit.

Don’t forget, safety is crucial when using tools. Always wear proper safety equipment, like goggles and gloves. If you’re painting or staining, ensure your workspace is well-ventilated. Revel in the process and the reward of turning your messy kitchen cabinets into organized, accessible drawers!

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Conversion

Turning your kitchen cabinets into drawers can be an exciting DIY project, but it’s not without its challenges. To ensure a successful conversion and avoid common pitfalls, here are some expert tips:

  • Use Quality Materials: Invest in high-quality materials and drawer slides for a durable and smooth-functioning outcome. Cheap materials may lead to issues down the line.
  • Accuracy is Key: Be meticulous with your measurements. Even a small mistake can result in a drawer that doesn’t fit or function properly.
  • Use Clamps: When assembling your drawers, use clamps to hold the pieces together. This helps achieve a square and sturdy result.
  • Pre-drill Holes: Before screwing pieces together, pre-drill holes to prevent your wood from splitting.
  • Test Fit Before Final Installation: Before permanently attaching your drawer fronts, test fit them to ensure they align properly and the drawers open and close smoothly.

Maintaining Your New Drawers

Once you’ve successfully converted your kitchen cabinets to drawers, it’s essential to maintain them properly to ensure their longevity and function. Here are some practical tips for taking care of your new kitchen drawers:

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe down your drawers regularly to prevent dust and grime buildup. For a deep clean, remove the drawer and clean all surfaces.
  • Check and Tighten Hardware: Over time, screws and other hardware may loosen. Regularly inspect and tighten them to ensure smooth drawer operation.
  • Organize Wisely: Use drawer dividers or boxes to keep items organized and prevent overcrowding, which can strain the drawer mechanism.
  • Avoid Overloading: Each drawer will have a weight limit. Avoid overloading your drawers to prevent damage to the slides and structure.


Converting kitchen cabinets into drawers can significantly enhance your kitchen’s functionality and aesthetics. With careful planning, accurate measurements, quality materials, and a bit of patience, this DIY project is an achievable feat. Follow these seven steps and remember the essential tips for a successful conversion. Enjoy the process and the satisfaction of creating a more organized, accessible kitchen space!


Eliza is a culinary maven with an undeniable passion for the art of cooking and a deep understanding of all things kitchen-related. She is a renowned kitchen expert and a source of inspiration for aspiring chefs around the world. With years of hands-on experience and a knack for creating delectable masterpieces, she has established herself as a leading authority in the culinary industry.

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